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Old 11-09-2009, 02:26 PM   #1
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Wrong thinking on caliber selection/ammo availability?

In the latest issue of Dillion Precision's catalog, "The Blue Press", Jerry Ahern has a nice article on arming oneself for TEOTWAWKI.

Typical of Ahern, it's a well written, informative piece. But I do take issue with one of the points Ahern makes in his article.

When it comes to choosing a handgun, Ahern says, "In a handgun, you want a caliber you're going to readily find. Stick with something the local cops carry -- even if it's 9mm Parabellum -- and you'll have a better chance of acquiring or replenishing your handgun ammo from local shops, etc."

I disagree.

If the Great Ammo Scarcity of 2009 has told us anything, it's that, in an emergency situation, you're not going to be able to find ANY ammo at all. Even when all we had was fear of Congress passsing and the President signing ornerous gun ownership restrictions, any handgun ammo at all was nearly impossible to come by.

Now consider how much more difficult it would be to get in a true TEO TWAWKI situation. It would not be difficult. It would be IMPOSSIBLE.

In fact, the ammo that did seem to be available during the ammo shortage (which has eased up but not yet ended) was that for the more obscure calibers -- .357 SIG, .44 Magnum, and even .45 Colt.

Am I saying that we need to choose those more obscure calibers so we'll be able to find ammo in an emergency situation? No.

What I am saying is that it doesn't really matter which caliber you choose. In an emergency, ammo is NOT going to be available. So, whatever caliber you choose now, STOCK UP NOW.

If you want a .357 SIG, fine -- just stock up on enough ammo (whatever "enough" means to you) NOW. If you want a .38 Super, also fine -- just stock up now. And if you want a 9mm, that's great, too. But don't think that just because it's a more common caliber you're going to be able to find ammo in a true emergency situation.

You won't.

Stock up NOW.
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Old 11-09-2009, 02:39 PM   #2
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Re: Wrong thinking on caliber selection/ammo availability?

So, if I'm reading you right, you're saying that whatever we like, we should stock up now?

Can't find anything to argue about with that....
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Old 11-09-2009, 02:50 PM   #3
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Re: Wrong thinking on caliber selection/ammo availability?

That's the gist of it, yep .

I've always found it sorta silly when writers in otherwise informative books or articles say choose a common caliber so you can get more ammo in an emergency situation. Short of stealing it, which I would never do, that's not going to happen.

What you have when the emergency comes calling is what you'll have when it ends (if it does and minus what you use during said emergency).

Stock up now!

I'm sure my idea of enough ammo isn't what others is. For my centerfire handguns I like to have at least 500 rounds stashed as a minimum. For my primaries (.40, 9mm, .357) I have more. I imagine some will say that's not nearly enough for comfort, and they're probably right.

Also, I posted this on two other boards, and one reply there points up a critical point. Referring to a conversation he overheard between two friends on the subject of stocking up on ammo, the poster relays that the friend who hadn't stocked up joked that he'd just shoot the friend who HAD and take his ammo.

I know this was a joke, but it points to the fact that VERY few people can be trusted, especially if the SHTF, and circumspection about your emergency preps is CRITICAL!
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Old 11-09-2009, 03:16 PM   #4
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Re: Wrong thinking on caliber selection/ammo availability?

What's wrong with choosing a "popular" caliber AND stocking up on it????

I have .45ACP, .40S&W, actually 3 9mm. handguns, two .38SP, a .32ACP, and am looking at a .380 Sig Sauer.
If choosing for "TEOTWAWKI" at this point it really involves stocking up on ammo.
I have plenty of .45ACP, 9MM., and .40S&W ammo. .38SP and .32 not so much ...but then again I won't be all that concerned with those two calibers for this purpose.
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Old 11-09-2009, 05:26 PM   #5
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Re: Wrong thinking on caliber selection/ammo availability?

Bestseller92,the writer of the article was regurgitating conventional wisdom. Before 2008 the logic seemed to be sound. But as you pointed out,recent history has shown that if a large problem erupts(or the perception of one)you will probably only have what is in your possession to depend on. People should take heed.
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Old 11-09-2009, 05:55 PM   #6
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Re: Wrong thinking on caliber selection/ammo availability?

During TEOTWAWKI I would think ammo in just about any caliber would be desirable. If you had a firearm in said caliber of course.
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Old 11-10-2009, 11:20 AM   #7
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Re: Wrong thinking on caliber selection/ammo availability?

If it is truly a "TEOTWAWKI" situation I will steal it if I have to. No more Mr. nice guy in that type of situation. Whatever caliber guns you have find ammo for them. Buy it cheap, stack it deep!
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Old 11-10-2009, 12:40 PM   #8
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Re: Wrong thinking on caliber selection/ammo availability?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Forte
If it is truly a "TEOTWAWKI" situation I will steal it if I have to. No more Mr. nice guy in that type of situation. Whatever caliber guns you have find ammo for them. Buy it cheap, stack it deep!
Stock up now and you won't have to turn into a thug/thief then.

Also, .22 shells are to my ammo stash what rice is to my emergency food supply -- cheap and easy to buy and put back.
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Old 11-10-2009, 02:12 PM   #9
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Re: Wrong thinking on caliber selection/ammo availability?

Quote:
Stock up now and you won't have to turn into a thug/thief then.
I have quite a lot on hand and I'm always adding to it. You never have enough. In desperate times people take desperate measures. The thugging and thieving would be a last resort effort to survive.
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Old 11-10-2009, 05:39 PM   #10
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Re: Wrong thinking on caliber selection/ammo availability?

Sorry, but I won't turn into what I despise in order to keep breathing for a few more days, weeks, months or years. Everybody dies, and there's a limit to what I'll trade in order to keep my life. My core values and self respect ain't on the table.
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Old 11-22-2009, 07:56 AM   #11
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Re: Wrong thinking on caliber selection/ammo availability?

I agree with both.
Living near a Mil Post i do think that there will be a black market for 9mm 5.56 and 7.62.
That said I carry a Glock 32 or P2K in 357 Sig daily and Walmart always had .357 Sig. I bought a box a payday an normal prices and have 10 WWC boxes today. i reload my practice ammo so I do have a bunch of this caliber.
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Old 11-22-2009, 08:20 AM   #12
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Re: Wrong thinking on caliber selection/ammo availability?

Quote:
Originally Posted by threefeathers
I agree with both.
That said I carry a Glock 32 or P2K in 357 Sig daily and Walmart always had .357 Sig.
Our WM always has .357 SIG, too. Even during the worst of the shortage, they had this caliber.

How is the reliability with the G32? This caliber intrigues me and I might get a .357 barrel for my G22. Thanks.
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Old 12-29-2009, 10:43 PM   #13
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Re: Wrong thinking on caliber selection/ammo availability?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bestseller92
In the latest issue of Dillion Precision's catalog, "The Blue Press", Jerry Ahern has a nice article on arming oneself for TEOTWAWKI.
...
When it comes to choosing a handgun, Ahern says, "In a handgun, you want a caliber you're going to readily find. Stick with something the local cops carry -- even if it's 9mm Parabellum -- and you'll have a better chance of acquiring or replenishing your handgun ammo from local shops, etc."

I disagree.

If the Great Ammo Scarcity of 2009 has told us anything, it's that, in an emergency situation, you're not going to be able to find ANY ammo at all. Even when all we had was fear of Congress passsing and the President signing ornerous gun ownership restrictions, any handgun ammo at all was nearly impossible to come by
....
[SNIPOLA grande]
...
What I am saying is that it doesn't really matter which caliber you choose. In an emergency, ammo is NOT going to be available. So, whatever caliber you choose now, STOCK UP NOW.

If you want a .357 SIG, fine -- just stock up on enough ammo (whatever "enough" means to you) NOW. If you want a .38 Super, also fine -- just stock up now. And if you want a 9mm, that's great, too. But don't think that just because it's a more common caliber you're going to be able to find ammo in a true emergency situation.

You won't.

Stock up NOW.
All right, I can't argue w/ the "stock up now" comment [except that it's over a year late; I can't afford to stock up at present-day prices! ] - but I think you're missing the point of Ahern's "common caliber" declaration.

Yes, in a TEOTWAWKI scenario, ammo, any ammo, is going to be difficult to access. But if you have a firearm chambered in whatever your local governmental agency is using, then when society utterly breaks down and the government is the only player w/ any ammo supply left and has abdicated responsibility or otherwise been overrun, then what ammo is left is going to be in their calibers.

Obviously, the implication is that in such a scenario, you're either looting the local armory or you've come across a police cruiser who's officer(s) has been bushwacked but the BGs just took off w/o going thru the trunk thoroughly or somesuch. Obviously, these are unpleasant prospects for those of us who value law & order, but it's the truth that must be confronted when contemplating TEOTWAWKI.

In the meantime, the cheapest calibers to stock up on are those the military uses [9mm, .223 at present; .45 & .30-'06 in the past.]

So this advice changes over time. Outside the U.S. it's mostly a moot point: citizens of most other countries besides ourselves & Switzerland seem to outright forbidden from owning firearms in military calibers if they're allowed them at all. But for we few, we happy few, regardless of what's the latest & greatest zippy new chambering on St. Crispin's Day or any other, the smart money is in owning something that can fire whatever our govt. is presently shooting, be that clothyard shafts, .69 caliber flintlocks, .58 caliber Minie balls, .45-70 Springfield, .30-40 Krag, or what have you.

When the govt. upgrades to particle-beam weapons a la' Star Wars, then the smart money will be on shooting something that takes the same batteries as the govt. is using... until then, it's about using the same ammo.
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Old 12-30-2009, 04:35 AM   #14
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Re: Wrong thinking on caliber selection/ammo availability?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skeeve
Obviously, the implication is that in such a scenario, you're either looting the local armory or you've come across a police cruiser who's officer(s) has been bushwacked but the BGs just took off w/o going thru the trunk thoroughly or somesuch. Obviously, these are unpleasant prospects for those of us who value law & order, but it's the truth that must be confronted when contemplating TEOTWAWKI.
There's a third, less unpleasant scenario: You might have a friend--or make one--in the local LE or military who's able to channel you out a box or two of ammo from time to time. Would be a shame to have such a contact and not be able to take of advantage of whatever help he or she might be able to give you.
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Old 12-30-2009, 05:06 AM   #15
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Re: Wrong thinking on caliber selection/ammo availability?

I'm stocking up on every calibre I own so hopefully, I will be able to use the right weapon for the right job, i.e., I'm not going to try and bring down a deer with a .22 nor would I use an M1 or M1A to shoot a squirrel.

I feel that makes a bit of sense. Agree?
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Old 12-30-2009, 05:36 AM   #16
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Re: Wrong thinking on caliber selection/ammo availability?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ExSarge
I'm stocking up on every calibre I own so hopefully, I will be able to use the right weapon for the right job, i.e., I'm not going to try and bring down a deer with a .22 nor would I use an M1 or M1A to shoot a squirrel.

I feel that makes a bit of sense. Agree?
Yes.

My own plan calls for using .22 for everything possible I can get away with, saving the big ammo for when it's really needed.
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Old 12-30-2009, 06:31 AM   #17
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Re: Wrong thinking on caliber selection/ammo availability?

The thought occurs to me that it might be useful to "put by" at least a modest amount of ammunition (50-200 rounds or so) for common calibers (9mm, .40, .45, .30/30, .30/06 --NOT .41 Action Express, .257 Roberts, .300 Savage, etc.) that you don't currently possess. Then, if the SHTF someday, if you ever did somehow acquire firearms in these calibers, though trades or whatever, you'd at least have some ammo for them.

I don't know how valid that idea is. It just popped into my head. Probably it would be best to spend limited resources on ammo for the guns you already have.
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Old 12-30-2009, 06:44 AM   #18
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Re: Wrong thinking on caliber selection/ammo availability?

You're on the right track, but I'd think the best ammo to stock up on would be .22, which would make tremendous barter fodder.
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Old 12-30-2009, 07:52 AM   #19
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Re: Wrong thinking on caliber selection/ammo availability?

True, and it's still pretty inexpensive, too, 550 rounds for $16.97 here (and it's available again on a regular basis).

Every time I buy more .22 shells I always have romantic, movie-stuff notions of using it with my Ruger 10/22 and its 25 round magazine for "cover fire" here on the ol' BS92 mini estate, though God knows if the situation ever deteriorates to that point we're pretty much all screwed.

On a tangential note, I saw a nice Remington Nylon 66 on GunBroker last night (I'm off work this week which gives me time to peruse the gun auction sites at odd hours) that I was very tempted to put a bid on, even though I don't need another .22 rifle. I would love to have a N66.
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Old 12-30-2009, 08:58 AM   #20
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Re: Wrong thinking on caliber selection/ammo availability?

I've got some stuff my dad gave me. It dates back to the 40's. All different caliber which I plan to use to barter with (hope I never have to).
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